There I was, happily browsing through the websites of Historifigs, SpencerSmith/Jacklex and Reviresco looking at 1/72 figures, guns and vehicles and wondering where to get the makings of a train that would fit the grid, and I starting thinking about various inspirations and some past train games in 54mm and 40mm. Next thing you know I had some of my old Britain's on the table. Then I had one of those "uhoh here we go again" moments. Its only been a month since I called myself on allowing unresolved issues and various shiny, easy, distractions to draw me away from what I want to be doing but almost 2 years since I started musing about 40mm Boer War/WWI toy soldiers and 3 years since I started fooling around with big figures on a grid.
Time to address some of those issues and get on with the toy soldiers again, or let it go and get off the pot, so to speak.
|OK now it'll fit! I guess it needs a bit more work though.|
Why I am so attracted to the combination of grid and toy soldiers (in a technical sense vs miniatures) has been a bit of a mystery to me. I think partly that it is because a gridded game is so obviously a game rather than a form of diorama and toy soldier style figures are so obviously toys not serious models that the two complement each other, but that's not all of it. In some fashion the grid seems to enhance our ability to distance ourselves from the direct, literal interpretation of what we see and to accept a higher level of abstraction. In my own case that distance makes me more comfortable with smaller units and shorter ranges so that actually makes it ideal for larger figures. (And yes it has taken 3 years for my intellect to catch up to my instinct on this)
2011 Little Wars meets Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame.
Two of the things that have kept me from jumping in have been uncertainty about coming up with suitable terrain that would fit 40mm figures and trying to figure out how to fit 40m wagons and trains into a grid so that I can continue to play the convoy and ambush games that are a favorite of mine.
Selecting the 4" grid was based in part on experiments which show that a handful of my houses will fit and I can easily do more. Similar experiments proved that a 2 wheeled cart can fit one square as do a pair of pack animals giving me 2 options, 3 if I include a few wagons I have that will fit in 1 square with a horse team in an adjacent square. That just left the train but I just happened to have a 2nd, pristine, battery operated toy train and I figured if they can bash kits in Little England, I should be able to bash a toy in Belmont. Out came saw, screwdriver and other assorted implements. (see above).
40mm toy soldier style Boer War is back on the menu.
A non gridded train game from 2012
The next post will discuss Sunday's 40mm Atlantica Square Brigadier game with some discussion of the rules, some examples of play and some thoughts on organization and period differences.